Album: Polar Bear, Polar Bear (Tin Angel)

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The Independent Culture

A third album for Seb Rochford's jazz rats, and by far their best. Pete Wareham and Mark Lockheart are the frontal tenor sax lobes, but what makes this their most accomplished, coherent recorded work is the LP's unitary vibe: by the sound of it, the group now constitute a single brain, a listening one.

As the old jazz-hat saying has it: groups that listen together play together. There's nothing easy about the music, but this floating swan's nest of Ornette Coleman, English prog-quirk, trip-hop and electronic twiggy bits doesn't need to be easy to work deep into the ear.

Pick of the Album: 'Tay': could that be King Tubby at the controls?